In honor of Earth Day 2019 (April 22), the following articles were submitted to The Pawling Record by 6thgrade students at Pawling Middle School under the guidance of English Language Arts (ELA) teachers Jaimie Montebello and Alyssa Dulin. As part of their ELA program, these students were tasked with composing informational articles to raise public awareness about a range of environmental topics.
Plastic Waste Awareness
Recently, we viewed a video about a whale that washed up on a beach. The whale’s stomach was filled with synthetic plastic of all varieties. It was frightening to see something like that. We never knew that something like that could happen. It got us thinking that if there is that amount of plastic in the ocean, that incident may have not been the only case of that occurring. We did some research and later found that 350 million tons of plastic are produced each year, and nearly 150 million tons of it is only for single use.
What happens with most pieces of plastic when they are thrown away is that they end up in a landfill, and after that, they blow off into the wind and, more times than not they end up in the ocean. That’s where YouTube videos like the ones that we saw come from. Plastic doesn’t fit naturally into any environment; it’s a synthetic material, unlike paper or wax. By making fewer plastic factories, we also wouldn’t produce as much smog as factories currently do, and that would also help the environment.
Synthetic means being made by chemicals and imitating a natural product. For a lot of animals, that’s what plastic looks like. Turtles often mistake transparent or white plastic bags for jellyfish, and surely many people have seen a picture of various sea animals with soda can rings around their necks. The animals suffer because people are careless and litter plastic into bodies of water.
The intended purpose of the article is to raise awareness about plastic waste and to tell people how to reduce the amount of plastic waste they make. One way is to use reusable bags. They only cost about sixty cents at Target. A second way is to use metal utensils or biodegradable ones made out of cornstarch or other natural materials. Another way is to choose glass and metal when it comes to drinking cups instead of plastic. You can find many different non-plastic reusable cups at different stores and small markets or shops. Please follow these steps and remember this article and help save our planet!
Air Pollution’s Effect on Our Community
By Marc Divitto
Air pollution has a big effect on our community, and we need a way to stop it. We can’t just do nothing about burning fuels and causing air pollution. Air pollution doesn’t just affect outside of your homes, it could affect the inside of your house, too.
You can make a change. Others can make a change, too. We burn fuels every single day. Take a day away from burning fuels and relax, after that day, tell other people to do that, too; then it will spread around and reduce the amount of air pollution. If we don’t do anything about air pollution, it could affect our hearts and lungs. People burn fuels every day, which harms our society. Even the smallest help could make the biggest difference when it comes to air pollution. Do your part. I’ve done mine. Help stop air pollution!
Global Warming Dangers in Society
By Leandra Jimenez, David Villa & Alan Martinez
Global Warming has a major effect on our society and is severe for those who are living in it. Scientists say that Global Warming is nearly 100% caused by humans. Global Warming is mainly caused by the burning of certain fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. These fossil fuels are only burned for power. Global Warming is already sickening, injuring, and killing people. Global Warming is affecting and changing the weather, food, air and water. It also changes the way diseases are transmitted. Another way Global Warming is caused is known as greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses include carbon dioxide. When carbon dioxide is produced and let into the air, it stores heat, making the temperature rise.
The biggest sources of carbon emissions also pollute the air we breathe and water we drink. Since 1900, the earth has warmed 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Seas have also risen eight inches. Heat waves, heavy rains, and wildfires have become more frequent. Overall this is why Global Warming is affecting our environment and how it is caused by us. The only way to stop Global Warming is to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Deforestation: What It Is and How to Stop It.
By Seth Brightman and Jake Harris
Oxygen is a gift that the earth provides us with every single day. Without it, we would not be here; nothing would be here. This is why deforestation in our forests is such a big issue. Deforestation is the act of cutting down trees for things that we think are helpful and things that we think we can’t live without. However, this awful act is harming us in many ways. It is taking that precious gift of oxygen away from us. It is causing our world to take a turn for the worse. Most deforestation is caused by abusing our way of getting what we think are human needs. What we don’t realize is that we are causing major problems for our environment. Deforestation causes extinction, climate change, and more.
An example of a resource causing deforestation is palm oil. Palm oil is a type of oil that comes from the fruit of palms like the African oil palm. Getting palm oil requires lots of trees to be cut down. Palm oil is not something that must be used every day, as it is not a human need. Foods that have palm oil in them may include instant noodles, many types of ice cream, bread, and margarine. Take margarine for instance. You could use butter, which is much better for the environment, as long as you can eat dairy. Some foods have unnecessary palm oil in them, like ice cream. If you think about what ice cream really is, you should be able to realize that ice cream should not have palm oil in it. It is recommended that you check the ingredients before you buy these products, and if palm oil is on the list, you should try to buy a different brand.
Extinction is one of the worst effects of deforestation. Plants and animals are dying off because people want too much from our forests. Plants and animals are suffering, losing their source of food and their homes when trees are cut down. As deforestation happens, animals start to die off. Imagine being in your home and watching the walls being cut down for some other use. You would be left with no home. This is what animals of the rainforest are going through every day.
About a fifth of the oxygen on our planet comes from tropical rainforests in South America alone. As the rainforests get deforested, we are losing oxygen at an alarming rate. Oxygen is needed for humans to live, so when we cut down trees, we are making our own extinction come sooner. Trees give us the oxygen we need to survive. In return, we provide them with carbon dioxide. Trees contain lots of carbon, and when they are cut down, the carbon is released. As a result of this, the carbon goes into the air, and it causes climate change. This climate change is known as Global Warming, which you know can be a major threat to our earth.
Global Warming is a result of many things, including deforestation. Global warming is when the earth gets warmer and warmer over time. Some people believe in it, and some people do not, and your opinion is fine, but for the purpose of this article, we are going to believe that it is real.
As the earth heats up, ice caps melt and people get sick. Studies have shown that global warming is making illnesses worse. As illnesses get worse, people die, and if this keeps happening, we may all die off.
Problems caused by global warming include changes in air, food, water, and diseases. If all the bad things that have been happening to this earth keep happening due to global warming, then in twenty years these problems could double or maybe even triple. That means that the deaths of people could even triple. This should be one of the things you consider when you use palm oil and other products from the rain forests.
The ice caps in the Arctic are melting, which is a major problem, not necessarily for the people of Dutchess County, but for other people in the world. If this problem grows to the point that the ice caps melt completely, then sea levels will rise so much that the water could start to rise above the land. The sea level could rise all the way up to 70 meters. This could lead to disaster for people living on coasts. If this behavior continues, then the ice caps could completely melt and flood parts or maybe the whole earth. If we lose all of the land, we will have nowhere to live, and will not be able to survive. If the world is all water, what would you do? You would not be able to adjust to all of the water, and you would die.
Have you ever heard of the Orangutan species? This is a reddish-colored primate that lives in the forests of Southeast Asia. Orangutans are endangered because of needy humans and companies who make money off of deforesting. They live near palm oil plantations and are losing their homes and food because we want to have something that is not necessary. Would you take a bottle of palm oil for one of these amazing creature lives? No, but this is what people are doing when they use palm oil products.
When it comes to saving these animals, you can stop using palm oil. Along with food, palm oil is very popular in soap. Alternatives to this are types of almond oil, grapeseed oil, cottonseed oil, and more. You could find many alternatives just to save one Orangutan.
If you cared enough, you could save a precious animal.
We are at a point in time where nature needs our help. People keep waiting and waiting, and if we keep waiting, we are going to have no earth thousands of years sooner than expected. Therefore, every single one of us should play our part in helping. We are writing this article to provide anybody reading this with the information they need to know the future of our earth. To help, please stop using palm oil, and be aware of the ingredients in the products you buy every day. If you are willing to save our home, and that precious gift of the oxygen we breathe, please try your best every day.